Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blackout - Tim Curran

BLACKOUT is the first thing I've read by Tim Curran. It's a well-written horror/science fiction novella that's very reminiscent of not only 1950s SF movies but also the work of Stephen King, in that he takes a group of normal people (in this case middle-class suburbanites) and puts them in an unexpected and very harrowing situation so we can see how they react.

Curran spends a little time introducing us to his characters, but it doesn't take long for things to start going to hell as the power goes off following a mysterious thunderstorm. A darkness deeper than the normal night settles over the neighborhood, something unseen but huge hovers above it, and people are snatched up to an unknown but probably grisly fate by sinister tentacle-like cables that drop down out of nowhere. One by one, our little group of protagonists shrinks until...

Curran writes well, creating sympathetic characters and moving his story along at a nice pace. He handles action just fine and a lot of the scenes are genuinely creepy, as well as occasionally gross. My only complaint is that I didn't care much for the ending, and that's more of a philosophical difference rather than any failing on Curran's part. Overall I liked BLACKOUT quite a bit, and if you enjoy dark science fiction tales, you should check it out.

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